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My engagement ring is fake, and not the fancy lab-created simulated diamonds type that cost nearly as much as a mined diamond; no, it cost my favorite gentleman all of $627, and a large reason for that was because it was set in 14k white gold. He thought spending the prerequisite three-months salary on one piece of jewelry was ridiculous, so he didn’t, and I was thrilled about it.

Originally, we figured “let’s use the savings from my ring purchase and use that to pay for the wedding!” only that figure still seemed pretty exorbitant, and since there’s no real push by any industry stating how much to spend on your wedding, we didn’t know whether or not we were being unreasonable or not.  So we researched, and found out that the $26,000 price tag of an average wedding (in 2011) was nowhere near what we wanted to spend on a singular event. We were stumped, and didn’t know what kind of budget to set.

Then we had an aha moment; a percentage of our savings! It made sense, it gave us a clear image of what we could afford, and we wouldn’t be starting our lives together in debt. We felt as though if we take a certain percentage out of our savings, put it into a separate wedding account, and then pay for all related expenses from that account, we would successfully

a) Not spend more than what we anticipated

b) Have a clear idea of exactly how much we were spending on this wedding

So far it has been working amazingly; we chose 10% for our ideal. Then we realized that by our wedding, 10% of our savings would be significantly higher than our original budget (which is what happens when you have a 25 month engagement!), so we set a second threshold. The absolute maximum we’ll be willing to spend. Currently we’re still under budget for our original goal of $5,000 but after hearing these horror stories of unanticipated expenses, we’re hoping that we don’t exceed it!

How did you determine your wedding budget and how did you stick to it? Let me know if you have any tips!


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About Denise

I'm Denise, and in May of 2013 I'll be marrying my best friend of over a decade. By the time we get married, we'll have had a 2 year engagement. I also post on my own blog

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  • As a wedding planning professional it saddens me to read that people – well, guys – still believe they need to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. This is completely untrue. It’s a myth created by the diamond marketing industry. There are so many choices out there. Not everyone can or should spend $1000s of dollars on a single ring. I’m glad you are happy with your ring. That is what truly matters.

  • Floofy

    I don’t believe in calling an engagement ring “fake”. If you accepted the proposal and it’s on your finger, what’s so fake about the engagement ring? People get too caught up in diamonds. There are plenty of hard stones out there that will stand the test of time, and come in every color of the rainbow. Please don’t call your engagement ring fake, especially since it is a sturdy metal that you will have forever. 🙂

    • Good point! I never think the engagement is fake, so I guess I shouldn’t think of the piece of jewelry that started it fake either!

  • Marie

    That’s great that you love your engagement ring, but you also shouldn’t be making condescending comments about other types of rings that are “fancy lab-created simulated diamonds”. Just because that’s not your style, doesn’t mean you have to bash the other side. And if a guy wants to spend 3 months salary on a ring, then that’s his choice people, so not sure why it “saddens” you. Everyone has their own way of doing things…

    • I don’t think I mentioned anything about being saddened about it or that I’m bashing the other side.

      Simply that my favorite gentleman finds those kinds of indulgences excessive, and that for myself, I was happy about it. If someone wants to spend 3 months salary or 3 years salary or 10 cents on a ring, that’s up to them.

  • Robin

    My ring is a Diamond Nexus too! We both absoulutely love it and I get so many compliments. I’m not at all ashamed to tell people about where we got it, and I’m very proud that my fiance was able to be logical about the choice. Why spend more than you have to? Especially on something like an engagement ring. I was thrilled that he proposed and we’re about to spend our lives together, and while I’m in love with the ring he picked, he could’ve gotten me something teensy tiny and unimpressive and it would still mean the world to me.
    I’m glad to see these posts on here! Sometimes it hard to keep track of what’s really important. I’m marrying the man of my dreams – sometimes I forget that’s what matters, not how much we’re spending.

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